On February 15, 2024, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova voted in the second reading of the draft Law on trademarks, developed to ensure the correspondence of the national trademark protection system to the European one and the compatibility of the national regulatory framework with the provisions of EU acts.

The new version of a law fully implements the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States regarding trademarks; Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 29, 2004, regarding the respect of intellectual property rights; and partially the provisions of the Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 regarding the European Union trademark.

Through this initiative, it is proposed to regulate the basic concepts and procedures in the matter of trademarks, including the following innovative aspects:

  • Examination procedure of applications for trademark registration: IP Office ex officio examination of the possibility of registering a trademark will be carried out only in the light of absolute grounds for refusal.
  • Opposition procedure: the relative reasons for refusal will be invoked only in the opposition procedure, by the owners of the previous trademarks, who consider that the registration of the respective trademark will affect their rights. The opposition procedure is a distinct stage in the stage of examination of the applications and in this sense, a commission will be created, which will examine the opposition applications.
  • Revision of the absolute grounds for refusal: with the inclusion of protected traditional terms for wines and traditional specialties guaranteed.
  • Designation and classification of products and services: the products and services for which trademark registration is requested according to the ICGS must be clearly and precisely identified by the applicant to determine the degree of protection conferred by the trademark.
  • The procedure for forfeiture of rights or declaration of nullity: it will be possible to carry out, including within the framework of the Office. Thus, within the Office, a committee will operate that will resolve these requests.
  • Procedural deadlines: relative reasons for refusal will not be examined by the Office ex officio, which will reduce some deadlines in the examination of trademark registration applications.

The provisions of the normative act adopted by the Parliament will enter into force upon the expiration of the term of 3 years from the date of publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova.